December 21, 2010

2010: An Exciting Year for the Investigative News Network

Just reading the spate of “Year in Review” posts on the Web leaves the unavoidable impression that many journalists will be happy to see the back of 2010.   Yet, I am happy to report that for the Investigative News Network, this was a year of substantive progress.

Back in February, INN made a big splash with a large collaborative project between seven members, including CPI, NPR, the Wisconsin Center, New England Center, Texas Watchdog, Rocky Mountain iNews and Investigate West.

In addition, prior to my joining as the Network’s first CEO at the end of June, INN’s Board of Directors and Membership & Standards Committee made significant advances in both in fund raising and new membership.

As a result of their tremendous effort, the Network moved forward with an ambitious agenda during the second half of the year that resulted in significant achievements:

  • Our Network is now 51 organizations strong, including members in Puerto Rico, Canada and across the United States.
  • Inspired by the success of the “Campus Assault” story, there have been multiple additional collaborative and localized stories among the Network members.
  • On the back-office/resources front, the Network purchased for use of the membership licenses to the NICAR data library as well as to the Basecamp HQ project software.
  • Most recently, we soft-launched the new Drupal-based website, including semantic feeds and a dedicated Taxonomy powered by Eqentia, in addition to a new Member Intranet which is designed to foster better communication and idea sharing among the Network.

And now, as we come to the end of the year, INN is in the process of rolling-out a contractual membership agreement and accompanying membership standards that will provide each member organization and the Network with important rights and protections.

These documents will mean that the Network can begin 2011 by finalizing contracts on several key initiatives including a global syndication deal, preferred rates on key news resources, and affordable media insurance for our members.

Looking further into 2011, INN is poised to aid the development of our membership with valuable and cost-saving member benefits,  exciting collaborative editorial projects and increased revenue opportunities.

If 2010 was, as many people say, the toughest year in modern memory for journalists, then I pray that the strides we made as an organization these past 12 months will lead to much success for us all in 2011 and the coming years ahead.